While Orem's $65 million budget for the coming year holds no big surprises or even any tax increases, some folks may find some built-in adjustments irritating.
For instance, the city will no longer receive rent revenue from the City Center's multipurpose room. That's because it's being taken off the list as rentable space.Same with the clinic at the senior citizen center.
The rent revenue from the two rooms isn't affecting the budget much, but previously when the multipurpose room was rented to a commercial enterprise, there was no parking around the city building, city manager Jim Reams said.
And when the clinic room is rented, things are moved about, he told the council Tuesday in a budget work session.
"We have meeting space in the senior citizen center (that can replace the meeting space in the City Center)," Reams said.
The budget also looks at considering paying the mayor a full-time wage of $60,000, but that has not been written in as yet. The part-time mayor's position now pays $500 a month.
A sewer rate increase is also in the works but has yet to be determined pending the outcome of a citizen's committee review. Only a slight increase in garbage collection fees is included - 8 cents a month per account.
"This is a pretty basic service level budget," Phil Goodrich said. He is the city's director of administrative services.
Goodrich said the city's share of new money is actually closer to $56 million than to the overall $65 million budget total. "We have about $5 million that's counted in twice" because it's being rolled over from the current fiscal year or transferred from department to department, he explained.
Goodrich said that until the new public safety building is created, the pinch from overcrowding in the City Center will be relieved slightly by remodeling the multipurpose room into interview rooms and more office area for the city recorder.
The 1998-99 budget starts a three-year program of gathering a little over $5 million to build a public safety building.
It also includes money to pay for a citywide lighting program that eventually will take $907,000 annually to support.
"It's going to take a million bucks a year to light the city," Goodrich said.
The lights will be designed and installed over the next three to four years and will eliminate special lighting districts that have been created over the years.
Residents will see the annual fees for the districts disappear but probably will see those fees replaced by a $1-$3 monthly fee to help offset the city's costs for the lighting.
"If we fund the lights entirely, you take away some future capacity for capital improvement later on," Goodrich said. "If you assess a small monthly fee to the residents, you recapture about a half million a year that can go to other needs."
Goodrich complimented the City Council on maintaining a balanced budget that doesn't rely too heavily on a single revenue source. He said this year's budget is fiscally sound and committed to funding the new building and the lighting.
There are no increases in property tax, franchise tax or significant increases in fees. Under-stand-ing the city's need to focus on funding the new public safety building, department heads requested only 11/2 new positions.
The budget also includes, for the first time, provision for charging a transient room tax on hotel stays. Orem has only recently had enough lodging facilities to warrant implementing the 1 percent levy, Goodrich said.
"There are costs that go along with the benefits of having visitors come into the community," Reams pointed out.
Another budget work session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 21, with the final public hearing on the budget scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.